Saturday, July 2, 2011

A week in the life...

I've had a surprisingly busy week, which I wasn't expecting! Les went to the US early on Monday for the week, so I thought it would be fairly quiet round here, with no shirts and less cooking. Not so! On Monday I had to wait in all day for various deliveries.Between 9-11am the telephone linesman, followed between 1-2.30pm by cable TV and internet connection. For some reason I expected that I would also be given two handsets, I seem to remember that from an email somewhere, but in the end I had to dash out to buy some so I could be connected, since I had already given a shop the house line number to arrange delivery of lamps between 4-7. The phone duly rang and the lamps arrived, swiftly followed by the electrician to repair the bedroom chandelier. I say electrician singular, in fact there were three of them, plus two from the building team who brought ladders of ever increasing length, all to no avail. The lamp has been returned to their workshop and I now look up at a hole in the ceiling! A new lamp is to be delivered next Wednesday.By the time everyone had gone and I had skyped all the family (except David ...BUY A NEW COMPUTER, BOY!) I was feeling a little stir crazy so I went out and walked around the still bustling streets for an hour just to get some fresh air. To be accurate, just to get air, its not so fresh in a city in 32 degrees with 90% humidity, but still...

Tuesday saw the delivery of my beautiful Chinese cabinet, shown here, which is to be used as a less than traditional ( but essential, surely,) drinks cabinet. You can see the outside, the door fastening and the inside which is lined in what looks like illustrated newsprint and I LOVE it! I got it from a second hand store about an hour from here. Just going there is an outing in itself and it is like Aladdin's Cave when you finally get there after two trains, a walk and the lift up into an old industrial building out in the New Territories.

On Wednesday, I visited the art museum and then attended a free concert of Haydn, Beethoven and Brahms, played by a Finnish quartet. In the evening, I was brave enough to read two poems at the weekly poetry group I've been going to, I read a Chinese poem ( in translation ! Doh!) and a Liz Lochhead.

On Thursday, I joined a Women's Group in the morning and a book giving charity in the afternoon. In the evening I met my friend at an event where we had to drink beer, not hard work in this heat, to donate to the book charity. The celeb was Australian cricketer Shane Watson and although it's cheesy, I had my pic taken with him.

Friday was the 14th aniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China and although there were parades and protests on the island around Government house, I saw nothing of it here and spent the day doing housework and ironing, boring but essential.

Today I walked for miles in search of an authentic steel wok with a long wooden handle and a double bamboo steamer for inside. Success! Then I took a bus straight to the HK Cultural Centre for my second free concert this week! It was an outdoor performance of the Hong Kong Police Band and the People's Liberation Army Band. Stirring stuff! I felt a wee twinge of homesickness when the HK Police Pipe Band played Highland Cathedral and Auld Lang Syne, all the more amusing as a traditional Chinese junk in full sail went by. The "E" intro was perfect, David, but the drumming was loud and strident. Couldn't see if they were playing Canmore or hide. There were 12 pipers, 2 tenors (no flourishes), 4 snares and a bass. On the way home I stopped at a street food stall, called a dai pai dong, for a "bubble tea" which is not tea at all, but coconut milk with sago floating in it (the bubbles) . It was delicious, although probably very fattening!

Now as I write the sun is setting over the harbour and the lights are coming on in the convention centre, where last night I watched the crowds going in for the Kylie concert, a sell out according to today's newspaper. Now I'm about to go and scrub out and season my new wok and play around with dinner ingredients. If it turns out to be a disaster, there's no shortage of eateries a stone's throw from the apartment!

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